Review Summary: Missed some blues rock? Come and get it!
Over a relatively short period of activity the all-around wonderful band The Black Keys managed in an easily-accessible and entertaining form to draw attention of the wider audience to such genres as blues rock and lo-fi, as well as to demonstrate their coolness, variety and, what’s more important, melodism. Their achievement in popularizing and reformatting of the sound of the backwater America is invaluable. And we should not forget their contribution to the musical development and their own style.
Starting with the age-old El Camino
the wonderful transformations have led the band to an intriguing adventure that continues still. But occasionally there is a need to stop and glance back, thinking on the roads traveled, and, possibly, to re-estimate themselves and contemplate on the great days passed, retrieving some old and well-worn things out of the backpack.
This ritual is what Dropout Boogie
is partially, making a slender but still noticeable combination of the early and later periods in the band’s history.
Such tracks as For the Love of Money
, You Team Is Looking Good
, Good Love
, Burn the Damn Thing Down
take us straight back to the Black Keys’ earlier raw sound, although they did expand on the blues roots. There is a reason why Billy Gibbons
is among those featured on Good Love
(which is immediately noticeable with the first seconds – his deep and rumbling ZZ Top
guitar lines draw all the attention).
A few examples of the hybrid approach are Wild Child
, It Ain’t Over
, Baby I’m Coming Home
(which recalls Free
but only a bit heavier), where mild blues touches mix with melodic choruses hinting at their poppier sound of the later period, which will be appreciated by those joining to the band’s adventure then. Also, Happiness
is the most successful one in this selection, with a heady portion blues on the melodic rock.
As a result, Dropout Boogie
ended up being both lightweight and simple, although it is also somewhat unfocused and dispensable, but that is if we turn on a serious critic mode. But there is no need to do it right now, the status of The Black Keys allows them to take a breather.
However, if you feel the need, put the new album on and you will not notice as the time flew by.